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Sexism and anatomy, as discerned in textbooks and as perceived by medical students at Cardiff University and University of Paris Descartes

Morgan, Susan, Plaisant, Odile, Lignier, Baptiste and Moxham, Bernard John 2014. Sexism and anatomy, as discerned in textbooks and as perceived by medical students at Cardiff University and University of Paris Descartes. Journal of Anatomy 224 (3) , pp. 352-365. 10.1111/joa.12070

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Abstract

Contemporary textbooks of anatomy and surface anatomy were evaluated to ascertain whether they were gender-neutral. The evidence of this, and previous studies, suggests that, both in terms of imagery and text, many textbooks lack neutrality. To further investigate such matters, we provided second-year medical students studying at Cardiff University (n = 293) and at the Paris Descartes University (n = 142) during the 2011–2012 academic year with a questionnaire inviting them to address the possibility that social/gender factors hinder the dispassionate representation of anatomy. Ethical approval was obtained from both Cardiff and Paris universities. Eighty-six percent of the students at Cardiff and 39% at Paris Descartes responded and provided data for analysis. The hypothesis tested is that medical students perceive a gender bias that is reflected in the books they read and the tuition they receive. Our findings suggest that, while students recognise the importance of gender issues and do not wish to associate with sexism, most are unaware of the possible negative aspects of sexism within anatomy. In this respect, the findings do not support our hypothesis. Nevertheless, we recommended that teachers of anatomy and authors of anatomy textbooks should be aware of the possibility of adverse effects on professional matters relating to equality and diversity issues.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Lifelong Learning
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anatomy; gender; sexism; student attitudes; textbooks.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0021-8782
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2019 16:59
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/61227

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